PUBG New State Review: Did We Really Need This Game?
PUBG New State is such a strange game, released as the latest in the series and the first real sequel to PUBG/PUBG Mobile that we have seen. Though PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is quite popular and other titles have been announced, New State is the first to arrive. Read on to find out what we thought of it in our PUBG New State review.
PUBG New State Review: A Slightly Better Launch Than Predecessors
Our PUBG New State review begins with the actual launch of this game itself, which is billed as the next in the PUBG series after the original PC and console battle royale game and the mobile spin-off on Android and iOS that is very similar to its predecessor.
Though PUBG New State is touted as the next game in the series, much of it is largely similar to its predecessors, not to mention the fact that it is only available for Android and iOS at this time. It is not currently available for PC or console, and it does not look like that will be happening anytime soon.
With that said, much of the launch of New State is pretty solid, learning from the mistakes of both of its predecessors when it comes to launching a new game on a new platform. Both PUBG and its mobile counterpart were marred with issues and performance problems when they came out.
For the most part, the PUBG New State launch is a decent one, only containing mostly minor issues that can at times frustrate but are nowhere near the level of previous games. It is a solid launch that, minus the annoying maintenance and release window, is certainly more playable than other PUBG games were.
You can jump into a match. It loads up nicely and quickly, and the overall game feels like something that was not just rushed out the door to release. It feels like a complete, playable game on par with the level of quality you would expect from PUBG Mobile in 2021.
In this way, the PUBG New State review looks quite promising and positive. However, the rest of the game is a bit of a mixed bag. While the launch is a welcome change of pace for PUBG, the gameplay, new map, overall content, and more are less positive.
Gameplay Is Largely the Same
When it comes to the gameplay in our PUBG New State review, this is the part where the game comes down some due to feeling much like PUBG Mobile before it. The great thing is that if you’ve played PUBG Mobile, you will immediately be able to pick up New State and feel right at home.
The problem is that New State does little to differentiate itself from its fellow mobile battle royale game. The UI is largely the same, the movement feels familiar, the gunplay is by and large the typical style, and it plays much like PUBG Mobile.
For some, this will be welcome since they will not feel like the game is trying anything too different from PUBG Mobile. However, for me, this is disappointing as this is meant to be a brand new game, so I was expecting the gameplay to feel different in one way or another.
The weapons and vehicles are highly familiar, leading to too much similarity to this title that does not do enough to set it apart from PUBG Mobile. In this way, it does not feel like the evolution or sequel that we were expecting to find.
That said, the New State gameplay is still good. There is a reason that millions of players prefer this style over Call of Duty Mobile and Fortnite. The movement is fun, the gunplay is challenging at times, and the matches will drag on much longer than in similar titles. Once again, it is the PUBG experience on the go, without watering down any of the experience you would find on PC and consoles.
In the end, if you are looking for that more difficult, brutal sort of battle royale gameplay on mobile, PUBG is still the place to be. It is not arcadey or floaty like some other games, making New State the place to be for a more console or PC-sort of challenge. It is just quite weird to me that it is so similar to PUBG Mobile.
Troi Is a Very Familiar New Map
That said, one of the few new pieces of content in New State is the brand new map that it is launching with: Troi. This is the most exciting part of the game since Troi is currently exclusive to New State. You will need to install this game to check it out.
You cannot find it in PUBG Mobile or play it in the PUBG proper on PC and consoles, making it a fascinating place to be. For many players, the real reason to play this game is to check out this brand new map and see how it stacks up against the likes of Erangel and others.
Perhaps another welcome part about Troi is the classic large-scale map that is the same size as Erangel, Miramar, and Taego. In this way, it is only the fourth proper, permanent large map in the battle royale series, so it is an exciting premise for the game to be based on.
That said, like the gameplay, there is not a whole lot going on with Troi that makes it feel too different from what we have seen before. It is not nearly as stylistically and thematically different as the fantastic Taego map was when it came out earlier this year, not standing out much in the process.
In many ways, it reminds me a lot of Erangel in the setting, colors, and style of the map. The overall map looks somewhat similar to Erangel’s map, just smoothed out but still containing the island to the south and a similar level of locations and scope.
Troi is a rather strange map, for sure, and one that certainly has me wondering why Krafton thought this would be much different than Erangel. Moving away from the similarity issues, though, it is not helped that it is just an okay map to play on.
Without a doubt, I like it more than Miramar, but that is not too hard to accomplish. The main issue I have with the map is that it does not fit the 2051 year that well. This is meant to be the future of PUBG and nothing about Troi screams that to me.
The buildings in many named locations, like the City Hall and even the Mall, are extremely old-looking, feeling more like I am in the post-apocalypse like in Fallout or something else entirely. There are very few futuristic features scattered around the map and they feel more out of place than anything.
A new two-story house layout is futuristic-looking and is great; my favorite part of the map. The problem is that these houses are few and far between, and they stick out more than anything else as one of the few futuristic buildings on the entire island.
Troi is not a bad map by any means and is a solid follow-up to Erangel, but it just does not do the 2051 style justice. Troi can be fun to traverse and battle across with its wide-open spaces that feel like they take forever to cross to reach the next safe zone, which is enjoyable for me but still a strange experience.
Other Content Is Meager at Launch
While Troi is the main component of the PUBG New State content at launch, another hit for the game in our PUBG New State review is that the rest of the content is meager at best. Outside of Troi, there is only one other battle royale map available: the original Erangel.
It is known as Erangel 2051, but, again, nothing is going on in this version of the mobile battle royale game to warrant that title. That said, having two maps is not bad. The bare minimum I would want to see, so that is fine. Adding Taego to this game as a third map and another exclusive would have helped the content out, but we will have to wait and see for that.
However, what is unfortunate is that there are only two game modes for battle royale: solo and squads. There is no option for even the classic duos, which may be frustrating for those players who like to hang out with their friend and aim for some chicken dinners.
Thankfully, one positive part about our PUBG New State review is that this game is not only battle royale. It does take from Mobile in that it has one game mode outside of battle royale and that is Team Deathmatch. It is the only other game mode in New State for now.
There is only one map for Team Deathmatch. It is alright to get the job done without having much to offer other than plenty of cover in this train station. Team Deathmatch can be a nice and, in my opinion, more challenging break from battle royale at launch, so that is welcome.
Outside of that, there are the training grounds for practicing weapons and figuring out what you want to use, and that is it. While the content in the game is a bit weak at times, I will admit that I love the presentation that is going on with New State.
Unfortunately, as we mentioned earlier in our PUBG New State review, the rest of the game is not futuristic, putting the presentation and changed UI elements at odds with the rest of the game. Hopefully, this will be changed in the future to make the game feel more thematically cohesive.
Graphics and Performance Are Serviceable
On the graphics side, this is another issue that I have with the game. It is touted as the “next-gen” PUBG experience, but this is something that I hardly agree with. The graphics of this game look almost the same as Mobile, outside of maybe the character models.
The character models are the best part of the game visually, looking pretty good and matching some of the visually appealing MMO mobile games with ads everywhere on the internet to show off their graphics. Outside of the characters, the rest of the game still has the ugly PUBG Mobile style to it, despite playing the game on Ultra settings.
The textures of the game are barely passable. There were plenty of pop-in issues where I had to wait a bit before the textures loaded in. The draw distance is not that great and the detail of the world is lacking for a brand new game that is supposed to represent next-gen mobile experiences.
That said, the game’s performance is pretty good and matches that of PUBG Mobile in its current state. That is impressive enough on its own since both PUBG and Mobile did not have good performance at all when they first came out.
However, it is not without performance issues. I found that there were moments, especially when landing on the island or driving a vehicle, in which the frame rate would chug for a moment as the buildings and textures loaded in. Again, I was playing on Ultra, so perhaps lower graphical settings will not experience this as much.
During battle, though, I never really had any issue with performance, despite the large maps and 100 players. Better yet, Team Deathmatch is a pretty smooth experience from start to finish. It runs extremely well given the much smaller scale, balancing it out and allowing only skill to shine.
Is It Recommended? 7/10
There is potential for PUBG New State on the esports side, just as there is currently for PUBG Mobile. Given the breadth of content in Mobile, it feels weird to move esports over to this game now, so I would want to wait for more content in the future for the switch to happen.
For everyone else, recommending PUBG New State is a difficult situation. If you like PUBG Mobile already, you should check out New State to see slightly different and check out the new Troi map that you cannot find elsewhere currently.
If you do not like or play PUBG Mobile, it is a bit harder to recommend. It is worth trying out for sure and seeing if Troi interests you, but I think it will be hard to convince someone who does not like PUBG Mobile since they are just so similar.
Furthermore, it begs the main question in our PUBG New State review: do we even need this game right now? I would honestly answer no. We do not need it right now. The Troi map is all that it brings to the table. That map is too similar to Erangel on its own.
I could have easily seen Troi launch in PUBG Mobile instead of creating a new game for it, and I would not have been disappointed. I think this will change in the future with more content and changes to make Troi feel different, but for now, it is a game that we do not necessarily need. But for existing PUBG Mobile fans out there, it is brand new and somewhat different, so that may be all you need to make it your main mobile battle royale title moving forward.